"A Song of Love and Death: The Meaning of Opera"Graywolf's updated edition of this classic book on opera includes a new afterword by author Peter Conrad.Arguing that opera's deepest roots lie in our most fundamental human rituals, Peter Conrad shows us the faces of the gods that still hover over the pageant--gods of music, abandon, evil, love. then, with the dizzying skill of a practiced literary and cultural critic, the author takes us on a ride through the repertoire of operas past and present. Finally, he brings us to the climactic moment of the form: the performance. We meet the great personalities--from Puccini to Bernstein to Domingo--in their element, and see anew how their celebrity and their artistry affect us all.
Peter Conrad was born in Australia and since 1973 has taught English literature at Christ Church, Oxford. He has been visiting professor at Princeton University and Williams College and has contributed essays and reviews to leading periodicals on both sides of the Atlantic. Among his books are "Romantic Opera and Literary Form," "Television: the Medium and Its Manners," and "The Everyman History of English Literature." He divides his time between Oxford, London, and New York.